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The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet Paperback – May 8, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0231125796 ISBN-10: 0231125798

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The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet + Earth: Inside and Out (American Museum of Natural History Book) + Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231125798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231125796
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The authors are curators for the geology exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, and their overview is an accessible mixture of scientific and popular knowledge. Mathez and Webster invariably select, for the purpose of illustrating an important feature of our planet, the most spectacular and best-known structures, such as the Grand Canyon, the Alps, or the Hawaiian Islands. To answer our deep wondering about how such awe-filling sights formed, Mathez and Webster narrate the same beguilement historically felt and investigated by geology's founder, James Hutton, and succeeding scientists on through to the makers of the plate tectonics revolution. By expressing curiosity instead of declamatory didacticism, the authors furnish one of their stated audiences--geology teachers--with a fine example for exciting students. With numerous photographs and graphs, plus sidebars about how rock samples were brought from the field to the New York museum, this survey offers a great foundation for learning about the earth's profound connections, from its center to its atmosphere. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

This companion volume to the American Museum of Natural History's award-winning Hall of Planet Earth exhibit by Mathez and Webster, the original co-curators, offers readers an accessible guided tour of how our planet works from interdisciplinary and scientific perspectives.

(Library Journal)

A handsome and well-written book, in full colour and jammed full of geological information about the earth.... I commend the authors for the thoroughness, accuracy and detail they give to so many parts of the Earth Sciences.

(Simon Lamb New Scientist)

This book is your engaging and scientific tour guide.

(Natural History)

This informative book... explores the major forces and factors that shaped and continue to shape our planet.

(Rotunda)

A highly recommended text for any who would wonder what climates were like in past times.

(Bookwatch)

This book...is outstanding among the many fine books on the subject available today...A book of unusually widespread appeal. Highly recommended.

(T. L. T. Gross Choice)

By means of well-chosen examples taken from nature as we find it, they provide the best of contemporary approaches to, and conclusions about, the major issues.

(Science Books & Films)

A thorough and yet easy-to-understand account of the origins of Earth... The authors definitely know their stuff... But true to their vocations as educators, as well as scientists, they do more than just educate in this volume; they also thoroughly entertain.

(Beth Norton Science Editor 1900-01-00)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on October 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Books on geology can, if poorly written or too technical, be unbelievably dull except to the enthusiast. Still earth history is important to us all as it deals with the formation of minerals, rocks and energy sources like coal and oil, as well as the origin and evolution of life, the causes of volcanoes and earth quakes, the movements of continents and the development and possible future of the atmosphere. Indeed it encompasses the very foundation of our existence. In "The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet" Edmond A. Mathez and James D. Webster have given this subject a new breath of life and have produced probably the best introduction to geology for the layman currently in print.

In their book they explain current theories on the evolution and movement of continents, the development of life, the formation of the atmosphere and the threats of ozone depletion and global warming, and many more aspects of the study of our home planet. They give accounts of great volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, explain mountain building and ocean currents, discuss the weird ecosystems of hydrothermal vents and the formation of valuable productions of the earth like salt, gold and coal. All the while they sprinkle in historical accounts of past geologists and their work in a fascinating narrative.

All in all this is a great introductory text in earth history and I recommend it enthusiastically for anyone curious of how our blue planet functions.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mikeinLA on August 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great. It is well-written and beautifully illustrated. It covers a broad range of topics - you can check the Columbia University Press web site for the table of contents. I think for the price it might be the best overall earth science book out there.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Earth Machine: The Science of a Dynamic Planet covers the science of geology, is the collaborative work of, written by two curators, Edmond Mathez and James Webster ( one of mineral deposits and the other of petrology) and is recommended for college-level collections where geology and science are strong parts of the curriculum. Full-color photos inspired by the Hall of Planet Earth at New York's American Museum of Natural History document the evolution of the planet in a guide highly recommended for in-depth collections.
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